Object Title

Left pauldron

Left pauldron



Object Number



Purchased from Peter Dale Limited, 17 July 1984

Physical Description

Comprising a large central plate with two narrow lames above and below. The upper lames overlap upwards and are articulated by rivets at the front and rear; the upper main edge is outwardly turned, and has at the centre a decorated iron buckle for fastening a strap from the gorget.

The large central plate is short and narrow at the front, with a cutaway at the armpit. It has a medial keel, and is deep, broad and flaring at the rear, with a cusp at the lower edge. It is decorated with three flutes flaring from behind the keel to the rear, terminating before the edge to leave a plain border. There are two holes near the front, one of which retains a brass bush, for an arming point. All its edges are plain.

The two lower lames, which cover only the outside of the arm, are articulated by rivets at the front and rear, and overlap downwards; the lower main edge is outwardly turned. A leather strap from the rear of the lower lame is fastened by a decorated iron buckle at the front.

The two upper and lower lames are restorations made from old metal. The interior surfaces are patinated to a deep brown, the exterior pitted but burnished bright.


Dimensions: Height: 205 mm (8.1 in), Depth: 232 mm (9.2 in) Weight: 2 lb 6 oz (1.08 kg)


Places Flanders


The central lame of the pauldron probably belonged to an Italian export (or Flemish) armour. It is closely comparable to a pauldron in the J W Higgins Armoury (no 2607, unpublished) which differs only in the lack of a medial keel and the arrangement of the rivets. The upper and lower lames are also restorations. It is similarly decorated to a pauldron for the left arm at Mantua (L G Boccia, 'Le Armature di S Maria delle Grazie de Curtatone di Mantova e l'Armature Lombarde del' 400' ed. Bramante, 1982, pl. 498-9, no B21) which has five flutes and a plain border, but lacks the cutaway and has a raised flange at the front. The pauldrons of the armour of Philip I of Castile at Madrid (All-15, London, HM Tower. 'Exhibition of Spanish Royal Armour', London 1960, no 1 may be similar.

The same general form is shown by a small number of pauldrons of the period: the Mendlesham Church example, for the right arm, has a single flute at the rear of the central plate (F H Cripps-Day, 'On Armour Preserved in English Churches', London, 1922, p. 90 fig 1742; A2 154-6); the Helmingham Hall pair are similar to the Mendlesham pauldron; the Udine, Basilica della Beata Vergine delle Grazie armour (L G Boccia, F Rossi, M Morin 'Armi e Armature Lombarde', Milan, 1979, no 73-4) has pauldrons of similar form at the front, but large wings at the rear with a single flute on the central plate.